This article is specific to Ameren electric customers
Sunscription allows you to support a local Solar Garden and save money on your electric costs! Each month, you receive Solar Credits on your electric bill for the energy your share of the Solar Garden produces. The Solar Credit is listed as a negative kilowatt-hour value. The electricity that you use is a positive kilowatt-hour value. Together, your kilowatt-hour credits reduces the energy that you are billed for on a monthly basis.
But how much is your membership with Sunscription saving you?
Step 1: Understand your Ameren Bill
When working to understand how Sunscription reduces your electric costs, it's important to understand the Usage Summary section of your bill. Specifically, you will want to familiarize yourself with the following definitions:
Total kWh: The total amount of energy used at your home
Off-Site Gen kWh: The total amount of solar energy your share of the Solar Garden produced
Supply Net Billable kWh: The amount of energy Ameren will bill you for after your Solar Credit has been applied
Electric Delivery vs. Electric Supply
You'll also want to be aware of the Electric Delivery and Electric Supply sections of your bill. The main thing to remember is that the energy your Solar Garden generates reduces the charges in the Electric Supply section of your bill. Because Ameren is still using their electric grid to deliver the energy your Solar Garden generates, your Solar Credit has no effect on the Electric Delivery section of your bill.
Where to find your Solar Credits
When your Solar Garden produces energy, you receive kilowatt-hour credits for the energy generation associated with your portion of the Solar Garden. That kilowatt-hour credit is listed as Off-Site Gen kWh on your Ameren bill. In the example bill below, Eva Exampleton's Sunscription produced 1005 kWh during the period; so that energy production is listed as an Off-Site Gen kWh value of -1005 kWh.
Step 1: Understand your Ameren bill
How much money are you saving on your Ameren electric bill?
Step 2: Understand what you're paying for
An average Ameren customer with no community solar subscription will simply pay Ameren for the electricity they consume at their home. Whereas an Ameren customer with a Sunscription account will pay for the electricity they consume, minus the electricity their Solar Garden produces.
Step 2: Understand what you're paying for without Sunscription vs. with Sunscription
Step 3: Compare your charges from Ameren without Sunscription to your charges from Ameren with Sunscription
The best way to determine how much money you're saving on your Ameren bill is to compare what your Ameren electric bill would have been without Sunscription to your actual Ameren electric bill with your Solar Credits.
Charges from Ameren without Sunscription
In the example below, if Eva was an average Ameren customer with no community solar subscription, she would simply pay for the amount of energy consumed or the Total kWh.
Without Sunscription, Eva would pay Ameren $183.94.
Charges from Ameren with Sunscription
With Sunscription, charges from Ameren take into account the energy your Solar Garden produced (Off-Site Gen kWh). In this case, Eva's share of the Solar Garden produced 1005 kWh during the period (Off-Site Gen kWh). So, instead of paying for the total energy consumed (Total kWh), Eva pays for the electricity usage left over after her Solar Garden's energy generation has been accounted for (Supply Net Billable kWh).
- Eva used 1513 kWh of electricity at her home (Total kWh)
- But her subscription produced 1005 kWh of electricity (Off-Site Gen kWh)
- That means Ameren only charges her for 508 kWh of electricity (Supply Net Billable kWh)
Total kWh - Off-Site Gen kWh = Supply Net Billable kWh
1513 kWh - 1005 kWh = 508 kWh
With Sunscription, Eva pays Ameren $147.26.
Which means Eva saved $36.68 on her Ameren bill
($183.94 electric charges without Sunscription - $147.26 actual electric charges with Solar Credits = $36.68 in savings on Ameren bill)
Step 3: Charges from Ameren without a Sunscription vs. with a Sunscription
What are your net savings on your electric costs?
Step 4: Your statement to Sunscription
To determine your net savings, you'll need to take into account your payment to Sunscription. What you're actually paying for is the value of the Solar Credits you received on your Ameren bill. Your payments to Sunscription are 17% - 20% lower than your bill credit, and that's how you are able to save money!
Step 4: What you pay US Solar is a 17-20% discount to the Solar Credits on your Ameren bill
Referring back to the case of Eva Exampleton's Community Solar Sunscription: her share of the Solar Garden produced 1005 kWh of electricity (Off-Site Gen kWh) which reduced the total amount of electricity Eva was being billed for to 508 kWh of electricity (Supply Net Billable kWh).
Now, Eva pays US Solar for the 1005 kWh of electricity her Solar Garden produced, but at a 17% - 20% discount.
Step 4: Statement from Sunscription
Eva pays US Solar $26.36.
Eva has a net savings of $10.32 on her electric costs.
($36.68 in savings on Ameren bill - $26.36 payment to US Solar = $10.32 saved)
Step 5: Sit back and enjoy Sunscription
Now you know how your Sunscription Solar Credits and payments work; you can sit back and enjoy Sunscription, knowing you're supporting clean local energy and saving some money along the way!